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After Vedanta,Posco’s Giant Steel Project could face the Indian Environmental Axe

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India’s Massively Growing Industry is clashing head-on with the Environment leading to huge fissures.There have been numerous clashes already with many of the mega industrial projects being cancelled or shifted.Tata Motor’s Nano Project in Singur,West Bengal was probably the most famous project to be scrapped after a huge people’s uprising due to loss of land and livelihood.Unlike China,where industry manages to always win over people’s protests,it is not that easy in India’s Democracy.Orissa recently saw Vedanta Resources Bauxite Mining Project cancelled over loss of tribal sacred land loss concerns.This was a huge victory for India’s environmentalists as officials and companies were  found breaking forest and environment laws.Now POSCO which has been trying to build a $12 Billion Steel Plant in the Mineral Rich State of Eastern India finds that Green Approvals given might be cancelled by a panel of government experts.Note the POSCO project was stopped recently pending an environmental assessment whose report will be published on Oct 25.Despite hectic lobbying by POSCO and the provincial Orissa government,the project looks set for more delays.Note the Steel Plant which was started in 2005 is already way behind schedule.

Common people have generally been browbeaten by industrial and political lobbies with frequent killings by police firings.Recently India’s Tata Group filed a law case against Greenpeace over a Turtle Game.A Mega Thermal Power Plant constructed in Andhra Pradesh also led to killings followed by a halt to construction.India’s Environment Ministry which is generally under the thumb of industrial lobbies has acquired some teeth in recent days with the appointment of Jairam Ramesh as the Minister. Increasing income disparity and corruption has led to the resurgence of Maoist Terrorism which is seen as the biggest internal threat to the Indian nation.Some of these people friendly efforts might go some way in reducing internal fissures in India.

Panel majority want Posco clearances scrapped – Reuters

A review of South Korea’s Posco steel mill project in Orissa says the plant could violate forest laws, and a majority of the review panel says existing green clearances should be scrapped, the environment minister told reporters on Monday.

The four-member panel presented two separate reports which will now be examined on Oct. 25 by the country’s Forest Advisory Committee. The panel’s report is not final. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh will take a final decision.

“Both reports say there are weaknesses and infirmities in the way the forest rights issue is being implemented,” Ramesh said, adding that both reports called for Posco to carry out fresh environment impact assessment for its $12 billion mill.

If accepted by the minister, this could mean further delays for the project whose clearance is seen by many as a test case reflecting India’s investment climate.

PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in